Targeted poker quiz 15: Hold ’em (intermediate)


Note: Not at the old Poker1 site. This 39-part series of quizzes, originally published (2004-2006) in Poker Player, is based on the Mike Caro University of Poker library of research and advice. In each entry, Mike Caro presents 10 questions covering a category of poker, targeted for beginner, intermediate, or advanced players. Answers with explanations appear below each quiz, with the questions repeated for easy reference.


The MCU Targeted Poker Quiz series

(See the index to this series)

Strategy – Hold ’em (level: intermediate)

  1. When you’re on the button in a 10-handed game and everyone folds to you, it means…

    (a) on average, the hands in the blinds will be slightly stronger than usual;

    (b) you’ll need at least K-Q to consider playing the pot;

    (c) the blinds are less likely to call than they typically are;

    (d) all of the above.
     

  2. What are the odds against holding either two kings or two aces before the flop?

    (a) 225-to-1;

    (b) 110-to-1;

    (c) 55-to-1;

    (d) 470-to-1.
     

  3. It’s more likely that you will start with ace-king of the same suit than with a pair of aces.

    (a) True

    (b) False.
     

  4. If you hold 5-5 and your opponent holds A-K with the board being 6-10-6-J, how many of the 44 remaining cards can beat you on the river?

    (a) 6;

    (b) 22;

    (c) 16;

    (d) 10.
     

  5. In hold ’em, ace-king as a starting hand is often called…

    (a) old faithful;

    (b) morningside;

    (c) the great equalizer;

    (d) big slick.
     

  6. What signature ranks did Doyle Brunson hold as his final cards in the two consecutive World Series of Poker main event championships that he won in 1976 and 1977?

    (a) A-3;

    (b) J-10;

    (c) J-J;

    (d) 10-2.
     

  7. The more players are in the pot, the more willing you should be to play small “suited connectors,” such as 8-7 of hearts.

    (a) true;

    (b) false.
     

  8. If you hold two pair after the flop, what are the odds against making a full house or better if you stay to the showdown?

    (a) 5-to-1 against;

    (b) 15-to-1 against;

    (c) 23-to-1 against;

    (d) 9-to-1 against.
     

  9. If you start without a pair what are the chances that you will make a pair (or better) on the flop?

    (a) 2-to-1 against;

    (b) 3-to-1 against;

    (c) 4-to-1 against;

    (d) 5-to-1 against.
     

  10. In a limit poker game, the bigger the pot becomes…

    (a) the more often you should bluff;

    (b) the more often you should fold;

    (c) the more often you should call;

    (d) all of the above

 


Answers and explanations (with questions repeated for convenience)

Strategy – Hold ’em (level: intermediate)

  1. When you’re on the button in a 10-handed game and everyone folds to you, it means…

    (a) on average, the hands in the blinds will be slightly stronger than usual;

    (b) you’ll need at least K-Q to consider playing the pot;

    (c) the blinds are less likely to call than they typically are;

    (d) all of the above.

    Answer: (a). If everyone folds to you on the button in a 10-handed hold ’em game, expect the hands in the blinds to be – on average – a little stronger than usual. That’s because players who acted previously were more likely to have folded low cards than high ones, making high ranks more likely in the blinds. I call this the “bunching factor.”
     

  2. What are the odds against holding either two kings or two aces before the flop?

    (a) 225-to-1;

    (b) 110-to-1;

    (c) 55-to-1;

    (d) 470-to-1.

    Answer: (b). It’s 110-to-1 against holding either a pair of kings or a pair of aces before the flop in hold ’em. All the rest of the time you’ll have a smaller pair or no pair at all.
     

  3. It’s more likely that you will start with ace-king of the same suit than with a pair of aces.

    (a) True

    (b) False.

    Answer: (b). False. Actually, it’s more likely that you will start with a pair of aces before the flop, than with ace-king suited. There are six possible pairs of aces – clubs-diamonds, clubs-hearts, clubs-spades, diamonds-hearts, diamonds-spades, and hearts-spades. But, obviously, there are only four possible ace-king suited combinations – one in each suit.
     

  4. If you hold 5-5 and your opponent holds A-K with the board being 6-10-6-J, how many of the 44 remaining cards can beat you on the river?

    (a) 6;

    (b) 22;

    (c) 16;

    (d) 10.

    Answer: (c). Without considering suits, there are 16 cards that can beat you on the river if you hold 5-5 against A-K with a board of 6-10-6-J. Many players forget that either a ten or a jack will beat you, putting two bigger pair than yours on the board, meaning your pair of fives is worthless. The losing cards are four queens, providing an opposing straight, three aces, three kings, three tens, and three jacks.
     

  5. In hold ’em, ace-king as a starting hand is often called…

    (a) old faithful;

    (b) morningside;

    (c) the great equalizer;

    (d) big slick.

    Answer: (d). In hold ’em, ace-king is often called “big slick.”
     

  6. What signature ranks did Doyle Brunson hold as his final cards in the two consecutive World Series of Poker main event championships that he won in 1976 and 1977?

    (a) A-3;

    (b) J-10;

    (c) J-J;

    (d) 10-2.

    Answer: (d). Doyle Brunson held 10-2 on his final hand of both tournaments when he won the World Series of Poker back-to-back in 1976 and 1977.
     

  7. The more players are in the pot, the more willing you should be to play small “suited connectors,” such as 8-7 of hearts.

    (a) true;

    (b) false.

    Answer: (a). It’s true that the more players that are in the pot, the more willing you should be to play small “suited connectors,” such as 8-7 of hearts.
     

  8. If you hold two pair after the flop, what are the odds against making a full house or better if you stay to the showdown?

    (a) 5-to-1 against;

    (b) 15-to-1 against;

    (c) 23-to-1 against;

    (d) 9-to-1 against.

    Answer: (a). If you hold two pair after the flop, it’s 5-to-1 (more precisely 4.97-to-1) against making a full house if you stay to the showdown. (This includes all full houses, even those that are less favorable to you, such as your 8-7 with a board of K-8-7-K-K or 6-6 with a board of 8-8-J-8-A.)
     

  9. If you start without a pair what are the chances that you will make a pair (or better) on the flop?

    (a) 2-to-1 against;

    (b) 3-to-1 against;

    (c) 4-to-1 against;

    (d) 5-to-1 against.

    Answer: (a). If you start without a pair, it’s 2-to-1 against making a pair or better on the flop. (More precisely, it’s 2.08-to-1 against pairing at least one of your cards on the flop. And, obviously, if you start with closely ranked cards or suited cards, your chances of flopping a straight or flush become a slight factor, also.)
     

  10. In a limit poker game, the bigger the pot becomes…

    (a) the more often you should bluff;

    (b) the more often you should fold;

    (c) the more often you should call;

    (d) all of the above.

    Answer: (c). In hold ’em – as in all other poker forms – the bigger a pot becomes, the more willing you should be to call. This is always true in limit games and is true in no-limit games, too, although the size of the bet is another factor. In no-limit, where the bet size isn’t predetermined, you should call more often if the pot is large when weighed against the chosen amount of the opposing bet.

 


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Known as the “Mad Genius of Poker,” Mike Caro is generally regarded as today's foremost authority on poker strategy, psychology, and statistics. He is the founder of Mike Caro University of Poker, Gaming, and Life Strategy (MCU). See full bio → HERE.

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